Train Kiln Firing

Train Kiln Firing

Instructor: Ben Roti & Dexter Woods
January 18 – 20, 2019
Unloading January 27, 2019
$246 (Member)
$285  (Non-Member)

In this weekend firing, students will fire the Reitz Ranch train kiln. Participants need to bring up to 6cu ft of high-fire, bisqued pots for the kiln firing. We will then prepare wares for the wood kiln with slip, glaze, and wadding. Students will assist with the kiln loading beginning at 8:00 a.m. on the 18th.  Each person will have the opportunity to work a 4-6 hour shift during the firing, and we’ll wrap up the firing on Sunday the 20th. Unloading of the kiln is on January 27 at 10:00 a.m. 

Discussions include clay bodies, types of wood, cleaning pots, and the hows, whats and whys of wood firing. No prior wood firing experience necessary, open to all skill levels.

For people interested in having work fired but are not taking the class, for $50 you can fire as many pieces in the kiln as you can fit into a 24″x12″x12″ container. (2 cubic feet/limit 1 per person)

(Current members receive a 10% discount on all classes and workshops)


Some tips and what to bring...
  • For firing, clothing should be of natural fibers (cotton, wool,) with long sleeves if you’re working the kiln
  • Leave jewelry at home, especially rings, bracelets or watches
  • If your hair is long, bring a tie-back
  • Bring your curiosity and a sense of humor!
About Ben Roti

Ben Roti is a ceramic artist originally from Spirit Lake, IA. He attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, from 2006 to 2010 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. During college, Ben’s ceramic work concentrated on the elements of world conflict culminating in his BFA show, “The Cost of War.” After finishing his BFA, Ben accepted a position as a studio assistant to the ceramic artist, Don Reitz in Clarkdale, Arizona.

Over several years (2010-2014), Ben had the opportunity to work with Don Reitz in the studio, assist with workshops in Montana and Florida, and was instrumental in the installations of gallery shows in Chicago, Denver, and Kansas City. At the Reitz Ranch, Ben furthered his knowledge in atmospheric firing with wood and salt types as well as a soda kiln in St. Petersburg, FL. He also was a part of constructing and repairing kilns.

Since leaving the Reitz Ranch, Ben has returned to creating functional works using low-fire earthenware clay and has begun to develop a new body of work. Using reductive techniques, through sandblasting, Ben is able to build variations and create layers, which are inspired by the results that are commonly seen in atmospheric firing.

Ben currently resides in Cottonwood, Arizona, with his wife, Kami and son, Leo.

Ben worked with the renowned Don Reitz and is currently part of the team building an arts program at the Reitz Ranch including workshops and classes.

About Dexter Woods

Dexter Woods is a first generation ceramicist from Dallas, Texas. He graduated from TTU in 2014, where he studied under Von Venhuizen, his mentor and a “technical master” and Juan Granados, who taught the importance of a exploring a personal narrative through art. During his studies, Woods became connected to the legacy and meaning of Don Reitz’s work via Von Venhuizen, who had a deep friendship with Mr. Reitz spanning many years.

Dexter’s teaching experience took a professional turn when he moved to Phoenix in 2015 and worked as an instructor at a private studio. He then helped to open, manage and operate a brand new studio in downtown Phoenix while holding classes in wheel throwing.

In Dexter’s words; “Art is my outlet, to try to understand the world and myself. I love exploring form through clay and reaching for the limits of it’s memory. The first time I touched clay, it did exactly what I wanted it to do and I realized the limitlessness of the medium.

“I want to bring this sense of possibility to my students and invite them to realize clay’s transformative properties.”

Dexter will be teaching and working with atmospheric firing at the Reitz Ranch wood and salt/soda kilns, as well as helping in developing various programs at the ranch.


If you’re having trouble registering please call 602-882-8553.  Phone reception can be spotty out here at the ranch, so be sure to leave a message if you don’t get an answer. You can text to that number as well or fill out the form below.